Since announcing the opening of Iron Tail Tavern, before the start of the pandemic, restaurateurs Jacqueline and Jon DiBernardo have been preparing for the day when the tavern would be firing on all cylinders. From the looks of it, that day has finally arrived.
The DiBernardos held the grand opening for Iron Tail yesterday. A couple of us stopped in to wish them well, and to see how things were coming along.
First off, I must say that the place looks dynamite. It’s a super addition to Elmwood Avenue. From the street, the glass frontage is very appealing. It’s like peering into a giant fishbowl. The bar is the perfect place to ‘see and be seen.’
I was happy to find that the lighting was very tasteful throughout the restaurant. I was also pleasantly surprised when our bartender actually lit a real candle and placed it in front of us. There are very few places that I can recall that actually put tea candles on the bar, or on dining tables for that matter. It’s such a nice touch, especially in a classic setting like Iron Tail.
Speaking of classic, the cocktail menu features the who’s who of the classics, including a Manhattan, sidecar, sazerac, rusty nail, mules, mai tai, and negroni.
While we stuck with a nice little bottle of wine, I am excited to go back again and imbibe in a couple of the cocktail creations. As we sipped the wine, we noticed that it was easy to view liquor selection, but the back bar coolers did not have clear glass doors, so it was tough to see what was hiding inside. These days, we’re so accustomed to seeing all of the different varieties of canned and bottle beer, cider, and seltzer offerings… and my friend made a good point that it helps the bartenders to know where everything is located and what needs to be stocked. On the other hand, some might argue that having opaque cooler doors is actually a classier look. It was more of an observation than a complaint.
As for the food, we did not eat, but we did check out the very seasonal menu, which listed, among other items, butternut squash soup, mulligatawny soup, acorn squash salad, diver scallops, raw oysters, rainbow quinoa (vegan), short ribs, and a house made pasta. There were three locally sourced desserts as well: Overwinter coffee cheesecake, Lavocat’s garden apple pie, and local pumpkin pie.
I found it refreshing that at the bottom of the menu, the following three farms were mentioned: Yager Farms, Draudt’s Farm, and Lavocat’s Garden. Once again, it’s the addition of a detail like this makes for a more enjoyable, and informative, dining experience. After all, why not give some credit to these amazing WNY farm resources?
The simple elegant decor at Iron Tail Tavern is captivating, if not cosmopolitan. There are no frills, just contemporary splashes of art, a subdued color palette, and mainly indirect lighting. Obviously, this is not Jacqueline and Jon’s first rodeo – Jacqueline also owns Water Street Landing and The Delaware (in Tonawanda), and is the official owner of Iron Tail. Jon’s past restaurant ventures include Le Metro on Elmwood Avenue. Speaking with Jon, can hear it in his voice and see it in his eyes, that he’s over the moon about being back on the street.
Monday Dinner (industry night)
Dinner is at 5pm. Bar opens at 4 pm. Expanding hours as they progress.